Tamaryn - Drums, bass, guitar accompany a female vocalist that is Tamaryn. The music is dream pop with a spacey feeling throughout. I am reminded of an LA band called Midnight Movies and there are traces of the Banshees, but those bands are edgier. This is quite smooth and flowing. It is an agreeable sound, but I am the type of listener that likes more jagged edges and variance, unless a band really can suck me completely in. Not quite, here, although there is plenty of quality and I am sure many listeners enjoyed the set a lot. I enjoyed it enough and it certainly is a good fit for the headliners tonight. In answering the basic questions that I often ask myself when I see a band, here is my conclusion... Did I enjoy the set? Yes. Would I see them again? If convenient or the billing is right. Would I buy their music? No, but I wouldn't turn it off if I heard it on a radio show.
The Raveonettes - Interesting to see this band return to the Black Cat after I previously saw them in front of a modest crowd at the 9:30 Club with the Black Angels, who themselves played the 9:30 Club recently with a modest crowd. This time it is back to the Black Cat and it is a packed house that looks just shy of a sell-out, but not by much. The Raveonettes are a male/female duo on vocals, each playing guitar and bass. They have a couple guys with them that play floor toms, guitar, and keys/electronics. I have always enjoyed this band's sound ever since a friend recommended them to me years ago. They haven't changed much since then, but they have a lot of subtle shifts within their goth-psyche-lush pop rock sound. They have a garage psyche feeling in the songwriting, but they don't radically alter the instruments to easily slip into a cliche. They somehow pull the diverse elements into their personal sound that keeps a listener like me entranced (see opening band's write-up for a comparison). It's icy-cool and hypnotic, but the songs are very inviting. I enjoy the multiple level of lights from stage, amp tops, above and behind. They have these long thin lights surrounding them upstage as well. There were sometimes where things cut out causing the light man to run around and find the cure, but it did not mar the set, which lasted just under an hour prior to the encores. The new material sounded especially good, but they played some favorites of old that the crowd recognized and showed their appreciation for. Another fine outing by a band that I enjoy every time out.
Plug of the night: One last plug for the Avant Fairfax festival coming this weekend. Two long nights of music with the DJ/electronica sets slated for Friday and the fuller band sets for Saturday. The line-up is stellar and it is pay what you can afford, but do try to contribute as there are artists from the UK, California and many points in between. I'm psyched!